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District Update 12-19-09

High School Gym, Staff Reductions

by Bill Heimann

December 19, 2009

District Update includes:

Special Board of Education meeting held Saturday, December 19, 2009.

  1. Reduction of District Staff
  2. Eagle Before/After School Program
  3. Seasons Greetings

The Special Board meeting was held in the Media Center at Waverly High School. The meeting was called to order at 8:09am. Board members Francke, Bevans, Doran, Grosshans were present, members Retzlaff and Rolofson were absent and excused. Also in attendance was Terri Neujahr and Peggy Brown.

An update on the high school gym floor was given by the superintendent. Water samples had been taken from boring in the gym and also from a tap water source. Test results show the water signature of the two samples indicates the water sampled from the gym floor boring location is tap water. The moisture content of the sand beneath the concrete slab was high. It appears the water that was in the sand layer has worked its way up through the concrete slab and into the wood thus causing the higher moisture contents in the materials above the slab. Official test results and report will be available in the near future. At this time it appears that groundwater is not the cause of the moisture – it appears to be an internal source from within the high school.

Bids have been received to remove the gym floor. The Board approved a motion (4-0 vote) to authorize the superintendent to contract for removal services, with the amount not to exceed $15,000. Bids were received. Hart Floors will complete the floor removal process. Beginning December 23, the bleachers will be detached from the west wall and moved to the east side of the gym. Floor removal will continue during the holiday break and should be completed prior to classes resuming in January. Investigation will be conducted of drain lines and water supply lines to determine the source of the water leak. Once the water leak is identified, corrective measures will be taken. Gym floor replacement will not occur until the concrete floor and sand sub-layer have normal levels of moisture. That timeline is yet to be determined. 

The next Regular School Board Meeting is scheduled at the Central Office Building on Monday, January 4, 2009, 7:00 p.m.

President Francke adjourned the meeting at 8:27am.

Staff Reductions: District positions identified for reduction have been determined, and all effected personnel have been notified. Principals have met my directive to make the cuts for budgetary reasons. The following reductions will take effect January 1:

  1. Eagle Elementary: The hours for the health assistant, and paraprofessionals were reduced for a total of 7 hrs per day. One night custodian was eliminated.
  2. Waverly Intermediate School – No reductions. WIS did not replace two teacher assistants due to attrition during first semester. With the SPED Developmental program at WIS, no additional reductions were made at this time due to the special needs of students.
  3. Hamlow Elementary: SPED teacher assistant position hours were not reduced, only general education position hours were reduced. Rather than eliminate the job of any person, the principal determined the best way to complete the reductions was to reduce the hours of all ten teacher assistants. A total of 21 hours per day were reduced. Additionally, a night custodial reduction of .25 FTE. All elementary buildings will now have one day and one night custodian. All elementary buildings have approximately the same square footage.
  4. Middle School – A classified staff resignation occurred. That position (7hrs/day) will not be filled. No changes in custodial staff.
  5. High School – One teacher assistant was eliminated for a reduction of 7 hrs/day. One night custodial position was eliminated.

This has been a difficult and emotional process. I have been meeting with individuals and small groups in the district every day. The purpose of the meetings is to provide information, listen to staff, and talk about the reasons behind the decisions. My message at the buildings has been that future staffing reductions (if necessary) should be handled through attrition – contingent upon state aid certification (March 1, 2010). As we get near the end of the school year, we will re-evaluate all district personnel to determine if other adjustments should be made to best meet student needs.  

Before/After School Program at Eagle: Program will begin on January 6, 2010. Currently 15 students are registered, staff has been hired.

Congratulations on a successful Science Fair at the Middle School. I was impressed with the students and their projects. Eagle and Hamlow Elementary: Thank you for allowing me to share in your staff Christmas celebrations.

The first semester has quickly disappeared. As we leave 2009 behind, and look to 2010 and beyond…my focus continues to be on how we can provide the best possible education for students. Our focus becomes teaching students how to learn, rather than what to learn. Engaging students as partners in the learning process is critical to their success. Take a few moments to reflect on whether or not students have made progress toward learning the “essentials.” How do we know if that progress has been made? How have adjustments been made for those who have not learned? Remember, every day with our students is a critical day for them…kids don’t ever take a “day off” in their journey of learning. Use every opportunity to help students reach their potential.


Here are a few holiday “ice breakers” that may be useful during a social gathering:

* When you stop believing in Santa Claus is when you start getting clothes for Christmas.

    * What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire? - Frostbite

    * Where did the mistletoe go to become rich and famous? - Holly-wood.

    * What did Adam say on the day before Christmas? - It's Christmas, Eve

    * Why was Santa's little helper depressed? - Because he had low elf esteem.


As always, contact me with any questions or comments. Wishing you and your families a joyous holiday season! Thank you for the continued support of District 145!


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District Update 12-19-09

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